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  • .338 bullet question?

    Of those of you who have been to Africa, and used a .338 Win. magnum on game, what bullet weight do you feel is the most versatile of all the weights available for this cartridge? Assume we are talking plains game (no lions, ect).
    Thanks in advance........
    "If your dog thinks that you\'re the greatest, don\'t go seeking a second opinion."

  • #2


    I've killed three kudu, 15 impalas, 2 worthogs, 1 wildeweast, 1 brushbuck,and other stuff. I use the 200 grain Hornady spire point interlock, loaded to 2800 fps. never a problem if I do my job correctly. I also carry this load when hunting leopard; but not for buffalo or elephant.

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    • #3


      I took 2 kudu, 2 zebras, waterbuck,reedbuck, impala, blue wildebeast, and steenbuck with the 250 gr. Nosler Partition. I was very impressed, one of the zebras and one kudu required a lot of penetration.
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      • #4


        mine all, fell DOA.

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        • #5


          If I wanted to shoot a 200 gr. bullet I would rather do it out of my .300 mag. The .338 really steps up a class when loaded with 250-300 gr. bullets, also solids can be loaded to the same or similar point of impact. Never know what you might have to shoot in most areas in Africa, many hunters have used the .338 and similar cartridges (333 Jeffrey & 318 Nitro Express) to hunt lion and buffalo in open country when loaded with heavy bullets. At the professional hunters insistence I used a solid in Africa to take a large waterbuck which repeatedly only presented a rear end shot. The solid went all the way through lengthwise and he only went about 100 yards after the shot.
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          Velocity is like a new car, always losing value
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          • #6


            I like the 338 and if I had to I'd hunt buffalo with the 300 grain solid. It gives up energy to the 250 gr as it is moving slower, but it has on heck of a sectional density in a .338.

            When in Africa I often hunt game with my brother. He takes a 340 Weatherby and 416 Weatherby both with muzzle brakes. I shoot the 338 win mag without a brake, and the 416 rem mag. 416. I've tried to get him to standardize on my magnum so we could share ammo. He loves Weatherby! I reload all his ammo and mine. He wants max velocity and the 250gr in his 340 Polar; I don't cheat him. I comparing the 25-30 head of game we have shot together, I've not seen a difference in game killing, except he had a wildebeast that too a lot of killing. I blame that "lot of needed killing" on his shooting skills not the bullet/cartridge. But we spent a day tracking, shooting, tracking shooting that same animal.

            I agree the 300 mags with 200 grains is an effective African load. I've tried some 220 out of my 300 RUM; but have no kills to measure it by.

            African game can be tougher than the local whitetail, and Zebras are particularly tough (even though they have a "vee" on their hear for an aiming mark.

            Plains game includes a lot of smaller spiece, and so as to the OP I think the 200 is the most versitile loading for African plains game. Kudu is one of the larger of those spieces ,along with sable. And the 200 grain 338 can easily handle those. Most are smaller. In Africa I'd rather shoot the 200 out of a 338 than take a 300 with 200 grainers. I'm only allowed 2 rifles, so the 338 and the 416 are my two.

            If I was only going to hunt plains game (minus Kudu) then I'd take my 8x57 double, and not think twice.

            I have two 338s, I love tha cartridge accurate and powerful. When I go to the rnge, I let people shoot my guns. And I've found few that can shoot the 338 with max loads and 250 grain bullet as accurate as they can shoot my 200 grainers.

            AH, I miss africa. Hunting bear, moose, elk and caribou just isn't like an all night hunt for leopard in a blind over bait.

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            • #7


              The 250 Nosler Partition opens readily on the smaller species and has all the range that anyone could ever want in Africa, except maybe for Gemsbuck in Namibia.
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              • #8


                too much for a Duiker or Klipspringer ofr the small cats.
                I'm not a N.P guy. to each his own.

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                • #9


                  I think that the Nosler Partition would be just fine for duiker. I shot a steenbuck with them and it was fine, did not do excessive damage. The steenbuck only weighs about 15 to 18 pounds. The Nosler Partition is the only bullet that I know of that will perform properly on a 15 pound steenbuck or a 1500 pound eland.

                  I shot an Impala with a 270 gr. WW factory softpoint out of a .375 H&H,and it ran an excessive distance, probably about 200 yards, but the .338 with 250 NP's performed much better on the smaller antelope, as well as the big ones.
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                  Velocity is like a new car, always losing value
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                  • #10


                    it dosent matter what area or game you shoot. by far of all the lead core bulletts that can be bought, the nosler partition will hold together the best from a magnum. its the only lead core bullet that has never failed me.
                    in 15 elk i have taken them all with one shot. with the exception of rino, elephant,etc i would not hesitate in africa as well. i wouldnt be afraid to use a nosler on lion.
                    it does the least amount of damage on deer i have seen
                    life member of the NRA

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                    • #11


                      I used handloaded Barnes 225 ttsx for Kudo, Blue Wildebeest, Red Hartebeest, Warthog and Oryx. Fps just over 2600. The bullet performed very well on all of them.

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                      • #12


                        1945 hunter wrote:
                        I used handloaded Barnes 225 ttsx
                        Everyone has their favorite bullets. Admittedly, I am a heavy for caliber guy.

                        My favorites are Swift A-Frame - 250 grain 338's are excellent bullets. These are what I load up to take to Tanzania to back clients (or when the clients use my rifle for hunting).

                        I have used 225 grain Nosler Partitions on Red Stags, Tahar, Elk, Deer as well on other animals I've hunted. Never used them in Tanzania. They worked well in New Zealand, AS LONG AT THE DISTANCE WAS MORE THAN 100 YARDS. Under 100, they killed the critter, but my 338 BOS pushed them too fast. No exits. They exited at 270 and 300 yards just fine on broadside shots on Red Stag.

                        Personally, my advise would to use the Swifts. They are very, very good bullets.

                        I'd stay away from 200 grain bullets. IMO, they are too light.

                        This is my experience with TSX's (read the entire thread)

                        http://www.handloadersbench.com/forum51/4472.html


                        Best,
                        Phil

                        Stay out of sight and downwind
                        Professional Hunter / Tanzania
                        [url]www.go-on-safari.com[/url]
                        [url]www.go-on-safari.com/talk[/url]

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                        • #13


                          I've taken a .338 WM on three of my African hunts, always loaded with 250 gr Partitions. It works on everything.

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                          • #14


                            I realise that longer shots don't present often in 99% of African hunting, BUT, if it ever presents itself, you can't go past the Nosler 225gr Accubond. This bullet performed flawlessly for me on Zebra and Kudu, in fact, it killed so well I use it here on our deer species. The 250gr Accubond is also fantastic, but a little heavy. The 250gr Partition is also one of my favourites for larger species like Elk and Moose. I have used this bullet on Water Buffalo with tremendous results.

                            Cheers.
                            :thumbs:
                            BigBoresRule

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                            • #15


                              Never been to Africa but have used the 338 Win , love the 210 gr
                              Tight Lines / Shoot Often
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                              RUFFIAN

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